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Citizenship Applications

Permanent residents of Canada can apply for Canadian citizenship after they have been physically present in Canada for 3 years (1095 days) in the 5 years immediately before they submit their citizenship application.

If during those 5 years before the application permanent resident was physically in Canada as a visitor, student, temporary foreign worker, temporary resident permit holder or protected person (person in need of protection or a convention refugee or person who received a positive decision on a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment) he or she can count each day spent physically in Canada as one half day, with a maximum of 365 days, towards the count of their physical presence in Canada.

For example if someone spent exactly 4 years in Canada during the 5 years before their application, two of those years as temporary foreign worker and two years as permanent resident he or she would have 1+2=3 years which he or she can count as qualifying physical presence in Canada and they might be able to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Citizenship Calculator can help you figure out whether you have been physically present in Canada long enough to apply for Canadian citizenship.

These requirements don’t apply to children under 18 where a parent or guardian has applied on their behalf for citizenship using the subsection 5(2) application form.

You may be eligible to apply even if you don’t meet the minimum time lived in Canada if you’re a:
  • Crown servant (certain categories of public officials)
  • family member of a Crown servant
If it turns out you have required 3 years of physical presence in Canada you can send your application for Canadian citizenship.


Also you will be required to provide a police certificate for each country, other than Canada, where you were present for a total of 6 months (183 days) or more during the four (4) years immediately before the date of your application.

For this calculation only, it does not matter if the absence was before or after you became a permanent resident of Canada. Each day spent outside Canada counts as a full day in the other country.

Regardless of your age, if required under the Income Tax Act, you must meet your personal income tax filing obligations in three tax years that are fully or partially within the five years right before the date you apply.

If you are 18 to 54 years old, you must submit proof that demonstrates you can speak and listen in English or French at CLB/NCLC Level 4 or higher.

To prove that you speak English or French at that level you can send documents such as the results of an IRCC-approved third-party test, proof from certain government-funded language training programs, proof of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French, in Canada or abroad or some other document.

Note: Applicants under 18 years of age applying under the subsection 5(1) or 5(2) grant category do not have to meet the language requirement.

Citizenship staff will decide how well you can communicate in English or French during your interview. A citizenship officer will make the final decision on your application.


To become a citizen, you’ll need to take a test to meet the knowledge requirement for citizenship.

The tests are:
  • in English or French
  • made up of questions based on the Discover Canada study guide
  • usually in a written format, unless you need to take it orally with a citizenship officer given to applicants 18 to 54 years old.
Note: Applicants under 18 years of age applying under the 5(1) and 5(2) grant category do not have to meet the knowledge requirement.

You will be given your test results right after you take it.

If you pass and meet the others requirements for citizenship, CIC may give you a citizenship ceremony date at the same time they give you the test results.

If they do not, they will mail you a letter with the date and time of your ceremony. You will receive this letter two to four weeks before the ceremony. The ceremony will normally take place within six months after you pass the test.

If you do not pass the exam the first time, you can write it again. If you pass the second time, CIC will either give you the date or mail you a letter, just like we would have if you have passed the first exam.

If you are asked to attend a hearing with a citizenship officer or a citizenship judge, CIC will send you a letter after the hearing. This letter will tell you if the officer or the judge has decided to grant you citizenship and, if so, the date of your ceremony.

If you have committed a crime in or outside Canada, you may not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen for a period of time.

Citizenship application fees are $630 for adults (18 and over) and $100 for minors (under 18).

When you send your application for a grant of Canadian citizenship CIC will:
  • review your application to make sure it’s complete
  • take your fees and send you an acknowledgement of receipt letter
  • review your application to make sure you meet the requirements for Canadian citizenship
  • schedule you to take the citizenship test, if you’re between 14 and 64 years old
  • schedule an interview with you (All applicants will have an interview with an IRCC official.
Some applicants may need to have a hearing with a citizenship officer or a citizenship judge and they will
  • tell you of the decision made on your application
  • schedule you to take the oath of citizenship in person at a citizenship ceremony, if CIC approves your application
Currently (January of 2018) it takes 12 months to grant Canadian citizenship for applications submitted on or after April 1, 2015.

So called "non-routine applications" may take longer to process.

CIC considers your application non-routine if:
  • you asked to change your personal information, such as:
-sex designation
-date of birth
  • you missed a:
  • CIC needs you to submit extra documents, like:
-residence documents
  • CIC asked you to come to another interview or hearing after you attended your interview
CIC also considers your citizenship application non-routine if you:
  • failed a test
  • didn’t meet the language requirements during your interview

It is not possible to predict the exact processing time for each citizenship application however at this time (January of 2018) these would be some rough timelines:

1) Day zero: Application mailed for CIC office,

2) Six month later: Citizenship test booked

3) Six months later: Test taken/passed and Canadian citizenship granted

4) Six months later: Oath of Citizenship Ceremony taking place.


If you meet all the requirements for citizenship, including passing the citizenship test, CIC will invite you to a ceremony to take the Oath of Citizenship.

Your ceremony will normally take place within six months after you pass the test.

If your citizenship application is refused you can apply again.

The citizenship ceremony is your final step to becoming a Canadian citizen.

During your ceremony, you will:
  • take the Oath of Citizenship
  • get your citizenship certificate
  • sign the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form
Adults and children aged 14 or over must go to the citizenship ceremony and take the oath.

Parents will get certificates of citizenship for their children under age 14. Children under age 14 don’t have to go, but are welcome to.

You must bring your ceremony notice and all your original immigration documents, including your:
•permanent resident card if you have one (even if it is expired)
•Record of Landing (IMM 1000) if you became a permanent resident before June 28, 2002

At the citizenship ceremony:
  • a citizenship judge or presiding official will:
-preside over the ceremony
-lead the Oath of Citizenship
  • many people will take the oath with you
  • CIC will give you the words to:
-the Oath
-our National Anthem, O Canada
  • you’ll read the words to the Oath as a group
  • you’ll sing our National Anthem, in English or French, or bilingually, as a group
If you want to swear the Oath on your holy book, bring it with you.

Once you have taken the Oath of Citizenship, you will be a Canadian citizen.

CIC will give you your citizenship certificate as your proof that you’re a Canadian citizen. It will show the date that you became a citizen. Keep it in a safe place.

Your citizenship certificate is not a travel document. You need to get a Canadian passport to travel outside Canada.

As a new citizen, you must wait at least two business days after your ceremony before you can apply for services, such as a passport.


We can help you determine whether you meet all requirements for a successful citizenship application.

We can help you prepare all application forms and supporting documents.

We can suggest best ways to prepare for citizenship test.

We can represent you in your dealings with CIC immigration officials.


Assistance with citizenship applications cost $800 (tax included).